MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — A woman was fatally shot Tuesday at a Shell gas station in Moreno Valley shortly before a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy was shot while confronting one or two armed suspects 2 miles away, and a body was found later in a home nearby.
The body of Wilma Patterson, 74, was found inside a white, bullet-riddled SUV outside of the gas station, which is the first crime scene of possibly three.
Investigators remained on the scene at the gas station, located at Sunnymead Ranch Rd. and Old Lake Dr., to gather information surrounding the woman’s death.
“My mom is sitting over there. Dead. Shot,” the victim’s son Randy Greene said. “For what reason is going to scare me for the rest of my life.”
Emotional family members continued to arrive at the gas station scene, looking for answers into Patterson’s death, but deputies were unable to provide additional information for them.
“Everybody’s hurting right now, everybody’s hurting,” Patterson’s grandson Marshawn Deon said. “People who know her, who don’t even understand what’s going on, are going to feel the pain.”
Witnesses described at least one gunman to have been heavily armed.
Nearby residents were also shaken when they discovered what was going on so close to their homes.
“I was just on Facetime with my friends, and I hear like a loud noise,” resident Mitchell Shepherd told CBS2/KCAL9’s Tom Wait. “As if someone is banging a hammer against metal.”
About two miles away from the gas station, in the area of Box Canyon, a deputy was shot after having confronted one, possibly two armed suspects. The deputy put in a call for assault with a deadly weapon at about 2:40 pm.
The condition of the deputy was described as non-life-threatening, and he was transported to Riverside Community Hospital.
At least one suspect may have been armed with an assault rifle.
At least 100 deputies from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department and Riverside Police Department, as well as SWAT teams, arrived on the scene and began a search for two suspects.
Authorities were focused on a specific house where they suspect the incident may have originated, and were clearing homes in the area. An abandoned minivan rested next to the house, where deputies had focused heavily.
A pair of aircraft was also present over the house, coordinating deputies on the ground.
Deputies discovered another victim with a broken leg, at the bottom of a ravine near the house around 4:05 pm. The deputies loaded the individual into an armored car before he was transferred to a hospital.
The home on Pigeon Pass Road, was surrounded by deputies, who continued a manhunt in the area into the evening hours.
It was reported that two rifle magazine clips may have been found near the scene.
Witnesses reported that they had seen at least one suspect run into the house, and deputies maintained a heavy presence into the night.
Another house in a nearby neighborhood was the third focus of authorities Tuesday night.
The house, located at the 25000 block of Delphinium Avenue, is reported to be the home of Patterson’s daughter, and is said by deputies to be the scene of a homicide investigation.
Family members say the body of a man was discovered inside the house. The male victim’s identity has not been released.
A command post was set up outside the home just before 10 pm.
One neighbor, who decided to remain anonymous, reported that the family is deeply religious, and that they had never had any commotion at the home.